Greens bolstered by arrival of duo

NEW FACE: Craig Gillies has joined Soham on loan
NEW FACE: Craig Gillies has joined Soham on loan

He may still be a player or two short from being completely satisfied, but recent additions have left Soham Town Rangers boss Robbie Mason feeling positive about the options at his disposal.

Ahead of last Saturday’s trip to Aveley, player-manager Mason swooped for experienced defender Lee Chaffey following his release by St Ives Town and striker Craig Gillies on a one-month loan deal from King’s Lynn Town.

And the new duo made an instant impact, scoring a goal apiece as the Greens came from two goals down at half-time to salvage a 2-2 draw at Aveley.

On Chaffey, who made more than 650 appearances for Cambridge City prior to his departure in 2016, Mason said: “You can tell how experienced he is by the way the lads have looked up to him straight away.

“Once we knew Chaffs was available, we made it a priority to get him in.

“He brings so much experience with him, but he also has plenty of quality and he reads the game so well.

“You do not play as much football as he has at Step 3 without being a very good player.”

Gillies, meanwhile, joined Lynn in the summer after scoring 38 goals for Chatteris Town in the Kershaw Cambridgeshire Premier Division during 2016/17.

With big-spending Lynn having signed the likes of ex-Norwich City centre-forward Grant Holt in recent weeks, Gillies’ playing time at The Walks has been limited.

“He scored a lot of goals for Chatteris and he made the move for the right reasons, but he is not getting any minutes,” Mason said of the frontman.

“This move gives him the chance to play at a decent standard and get his confidence back.

“It is only for one month right now, but if it works for both of us, hopefully we can sort out something for a bit longer.”

There could also be another couple of new faces arriving at Julius Martin Lane over the coming weeks, with Mason keen to continue making improvements.

“It is a great feeling to have players like Chaffers and Craig wanting to join us,” said Mason.

“It is coming together now with a mix of experience and younger players, but we still need a couple more.

“We are a little bit weak in two areas and that is something we are trying to address.”

Next up for Mason’s men is a home encounter on Saturday with second-placed AFC Hornchurch (3pm), who ran out 3-0 winners when the two sides met on the opening day of the season.

Mason felt the scoreline was harsh on that occasion and has called on his team to build on the confidence gained from Saturday’s late draw.

“Hornchurch deserved to win, but not by that much. We gave them three goals,” he said.

“We will be the underdogs but that is fine — the pressure is on them.

“We did not beat Aveley, but there was a good feeling after — hopefully we can use that to our advantage.”

On Tuesday, Soham host Brentwood Town in the second round of the Velocity Trophy (7.45pm).